Billings is back in familiar territory
Chris Billings. Pic: WA News

Controversial Perth player Chris Billings was allowed to play reserves against East Perth on Saturday, but faces a long suspension if he is found guilty of a serious rough conduct charge from the previous weekend.

Billings, who was reported or the subject of notices of investigation in 10 of his last 17 WAFL matches before Saturday, was charged with rough conduct against Swan Districts player Aaron Jetta in the round-five reserves match at Lathlain Park.

He was cleared to play for the Demons on Saturday when the WAFL Tribunal hearing was adjourned for a week. He was part of the Perth reserves team that lost to East Perth by eight points.

Umpire Jeff Mann told the tribunal last week that he reported Billings for dropping his knees into Jetta as the Swans player lay on the ground about 30m behind the play. But the matter was held over until tonight because work commitments prevented Jetta from attending the hearing.

Tribunal chairman Alan Moroni rejected Perth advocate Steve Mayne's bid to have the charge dismissed and said the matter was too serious not to be heard.

Billings pleaded not guilty, but was not required to give evidence before the hearing was adjourned.

His not guilty plea and poor record means he could be suspended for up to four matches if he is found to have acted intentionally and with medium impact.

The Swans game was Billings' first appearance since being banned for two matches for rough conduct in the opening round of the season.

He didn't play in the WAFL last year after becoming disillusioned with his treatment in 2012 when he was reported or investigated eight times in 15 league and reserves games over a series of rough-conduct incidents.

He received two reprimands and a two-week ban.

The West Australian

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